It was not a super busy night inside Lark, the popular Capital Hills eatery. William and I were seated at end of the long and narrow dining room by the window. The high ceiling was illuminated with hundreds of lights, as if we were under a starry summer sky, which I could gaze and lost into for an eternity. No wonder the restaurant was voted by Seattle Magazine readers as the Best Restaurant for a Date in 2015.
And the food was just as much as a winner. The Chef’s genius and passion were showcased on every single plate on our table , where the ingredients of impeccable quality, were treated with such astonishing techniques. Each arrangement was sophisticated but not complicated.
We started the evening with some amazing red wine. This bottle of Chateau Larose Trintaudon 2010 ($44) from Bordeaux was definitely a steal. The wine was soft, clean, full of flavours with hints of berries, but still dry enough to my liking. It could almost pass as a pricier and moderately aged pinot noir, my absolutely favourite wine to order and share at any fine-dining restaurant.
There were definitely some bold flavours found in the Hamachi Crudo ($17) from fennel, preserved lemon, and olive. On top of those ingredients visible on the plate, I could also taste something like celery salt, which complemented Hamachi perfectly. It was just bloody brilliant that we could still taste how fresh and delicate the fish was.
The second starter dish, Seared Foie Gras ($22) was incredible The foie gras was seared flawlessly. But on top of that, who would think honey comb would go so well with foie gras. The fragrance and sweetness of honey comb was cutting through the richness of foie gras nicely, bringing the luscious texture to a whole new level. Combining the acidity from rhubarb agrodolce, nuttiness from pistachio, and slight bitterness from watercress, the taste was nearly mind blowing. This is the best Foie Gras dish I have ever had! And the good decision kept going – I thought it would be nice to have a glass of rose? to go with our starter dishes, and the glass of Elk Cove Pinot Noir Rose? 2015 ($9) from the State of Oregon worked the magic complementing the foie gras.
We chose to share a pasta course before a shared main course. The Semolina Gnocchi ($21) tasted so fresh and airy, along with a small serving of pine nut ‘risotto’, finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and some nettle, a local wild green, in the forms of a vibrant green sauce and chips. And this again goes to my own book of records – it is the best Gnocchi dish I have ever had too!
The Elk Loin ($36), as the main course of meal, was an eye opening experience for William as he never had Elk before. As the execution on the meat was immaculate, I thought the real star was the roasted wild mushroom on the side. I was almost completely certain that it was Maitake, the so called Hen of the Woods. The luxurious texture and the comforting earthiness of the mushroom, combing the elk, had brought such a remarkable taste of the nature. This was a truly inspiring Wild-to-Table dish.
And last not least, the Coconut Sorbet ($10) with passion fruit curd, basil seeds, pili nut crumble and coconut meringue, was so light and refreshing, yet satisfying for the sweet tooth. The dish showed brilliance of combining classic techniques and exotic flavours. And as always a coconut lover, I was pleased and satisfied with such a happy ending.
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